General Pierre Pelleport
Born: October 26, 1773
Place of Birth: Montréjeau, Haute-Garonne, France
Died: December 15, 1855
Place of Death: Bordeaux, France
Arc de Triomphe: PELLEPORT on the east pillar
The son of a merchant, Pierre Pelleport joined the 8th Battalion of Volunteers of Haute-Garonne in June of 1793. Sent to serve in the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees, he was commissioned as a sous-lieutenant that December. In 1795 Pelleport joined the Army of Italy and in 1796 he served with the 69th of the Line and then the 18th of the Line. During Napoleon's first Italian campaign, Pelleport served at Montenotte, Lodi , Arcola , and Rivoli . In April of 1797 he was promoted to lieutenant and then in 1798 he served with the Army of Switzerland before joining the Army of the Orient. Taking part in the expedition to Egypt, Pelleport was promoted to capitaine in March of 1799 and the next month he was wounded by a shot to the left arm at the Siege of Acre.
In 1804 Pelleport joined the Army of the Coasts of the Ocean which became the Grande Armée in 1805. He took part in the campaign that year and in December he was wounded in the left leg at the Battle of Austerlitz. In 1806 Pelleport served in Prussia, fighting at the Battle of Jena and then receiving a promotion to chef de bataillon the next month. He went on to serve in February of 1807 at the Battle of Eylau where he was grievously wounded by multiple bayonet and saber blows.
Next Pelleport joined the Army of Germany and after the Austrians attacked in 1809 he participated in the campaign on the Danube. He fought at the Battle of Aspern-Essling and then a week later he was promoted to colonel of the 18th of the Line, serving in Ledru's brigade of Legrand's division. In this new position Pelleport led his men at the Battle of Wagram and the Battle of Znaïm. A little over a month later he was named a Baron of the Empire. In 1810 and 1811 Pelleport served in Holland and then in 1812 he served in Russia where he fought at the combat of Valutina.
After surviving the retreat from Russia, in April of 1813 Pelleport was promoted to général de brigade and in May he took command of the 1st Brigade of Compans' 20th Division in VI Corps. During the campaign in Saxony he served at Bautzen and Dresden and then was wounded at the Battle of Leipzig by a shot. Pelleport was then rewarded for his service by being named a Knight of the Iron Crown. For the defense of France of 1814, he served in Champagne and in February he fought at La Rothière, Champaubert , Vauchamps , and Montmirail . At the end of the month Pelleport served at the defense of the bridge of Meaux where he was wounded by a shot to the right hip. A month later he served at the Battle of Paris where he was again wounded, this time by a shot to the chest during the defense of Buttes Chaumont.
After Napoleon's abdication and the Bourbon Restoration, Pelleport was named a Knight of Saint Louis and given a position in the 1st military division. When Napoleon returned from exile to resume power for the Hundred Days, Pelleport was employed in VI Corps. However, he was replaced due to health reasons and he was instead assigned to the defense of Paris. Afterwards he was briefly put on non-activity before he resumed a successful career.
- Divry, Arnauld. Les Noms Gravés sur l'Arc de Triomphe. Paris: L'Harmattan, 2017.
- Six, Georges. Dictionnaire Biographique des Généraux & Amiraux Français de la Révolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814). 2 vols. Paris: Gaston Saffroy, 2003.
Updated July 2021
© Nathan D. Jensen